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Friday, November 7 • 2:15pm - 3:00pm
Speaking Our Piece: Librarians and Publishers on Their Relationship in the STM Market

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Libraries and publishers have a long history of tense relations. Yet they are entwined and interdependent. Is it a tug-of-war or a "zero-sum game" as one writer in the 1990s described it? Or do publishers and librarians support each other? Can we get along? What power does each group have in the market not just as organizations but as individuals? How have recent development such as Open Access and new sales models affected the market relations? These questions prompted me to conduct interviews, including many during the past two Charleston Conferences, with the librarians in acquisitions and collection development and publishing representatives in sales and market development who are on the frontlines of the relationships between the organizations that they represent. These one-on-one interviews focused on the STM information marketplace and academic libraries. More than twenty-five people from publishing and libraries shared what makes negotiations successful on each side, strategies for working together and strategies for getting the best for their organizations. They reflected on recent changes in the market and how libraries and publishers can change the market. I will present my initial analysis of their frank comments on power dynamics and sage advice for effective relationships. There will be time for the audience to respond to my findings and to provide insight on future directions for my research.


M. Kathleen Kern

Librarian, University of Illinois

Friday November 7, 2014 2:15pm - 3:00pm EST
Cooper Room, Courtyard Marriott 125 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401